Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wolves, Songs and Nice People

Have you seen Into the Woods?


This movie has become a quick family favorite around here.

The movie is about many fairy tale characters that end up meeting and having adventures in the woods. It's a musical so there are songs that get stuck in your head and will find yourself singing at odd times during the day.

But surprisingly, to me, these songs have messages that resonate deeper than just the entertainment value.

This is my opinion on one of the songs that has been sitting with me. I have no idea is the author was going for this. Or was aiming to make the audience think, but the words spoke truth to me.

The song that I want to talk about today is I Know Things Now. This is sung by Little Red Riding Hood after she has been rescued from the belly of the wolf that had devoured her.

Here are the lyrics: you can hear the song here

Mother said, "Straight ahead"
Not to delay or be misled
I should have heeded her advice
But he seemed so nice

And he showed me things
Many beautiful things
That I hadn't thought to explore
They were off my path

So I never had dared
I had been so careful
I never had cared
And he made me feel excited
Well, excited and scared

When he said, "Come in"
With that sickening grin
How could I know what was in store?
Once his teeth were bared
Though, I really got scared

Well, excited and scared
But he drew me close
And he swallowed me down
Down a dark slimy path
Where lie secrets that I never want to know

And when everything familiar
Seemed to disappear forever
At the end of the path
Was granny once again

So we wait in the dark
Until someone sets us free
And we're brought into the light
And we're back at the start

And I know things now
Many valuable things
That I hadn't known before
Do not put your faith
In a cape and a hood

They will not protect you
The way that they should
And take extra care with strangers
Even flowers have their dangers
And though scary is exciting
Nice is different than good

Now I know
Don't be scared
Granny is right
Just be prepared

Isn't it nice to know a lot
And a little bit not

Red is admitting to not listening to sound advice that she was given and she knew that what she was doing was wrong. But there was an excitement of the unknown and even the "bad". And isn't that what sin does for us? It gives us the desire to have what we know isn't good for us because it seems exciting. Who doesn't love a bit of excitement? But with sin comes pain and punishment. And it's never just the person who commits the sin that has to deal with the pain.
You see, because Little Red listened to the wolf and strayed from the path that she was meant to follow gave time for the wolf to get to her grandmother. A path he would not have taken if he had not delayed Red's journey. And her grandmother was gobbled up. Yup, I'm telling you, that granny was caught up in the consequences of the sin of her granddaughter.

Because the wolf sucked her in. He seemed nice. And a lot of times in life we confuse "nice" with trustworthy. But in the song she says "Nice is different than good" and that speaks tons to me. People can be nice. They can say nice words and do nice things but it doesn't mean that they are good. Good is a completely different concept. Goodness is not being "nice". I've known plenty of people who are nice but are not good. And I've also known those who are good but not necessarily nice. 

Good is doing what is right. It may come in a way of challenging people in their lives, which isn't always nice. Or revealing truths to people that they need to hear. Good can be nice but it doesn't have to be.

Nice is a portrayal of what you are on the surface. Nice is what you want people to believe that you are. But in truth, nice is not what people are all the time. Even good people aren't always nice.

And I've had to learn this lesson. Nice is different than good. And I want to surround myself with those who are good. Those who believe in truth. I would rather be hurt in truth by someone good than lead along by someone "nice" who is hiding their true self. Because it will all come out eventually anyway and it hurts more from the liars who are nice.

And I have been hurt deeply by the "nice". Because I confused nice with good and nice with trustworthy and nice with kind. When people who are trustworthy and good and kind can be nice but they are also good but not all nice people are.

And what is good? Good is doing what is right. Good is following God and his son's example. Because, who is good? Jesus is good. And I strive to be like Jesus. I want to be good.

I want to do what is right and live the right way.

I want to be more than nice.

I want to be good.